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Popular Ryde Arts Café To Expand Following Closure And Refurbishment

Ryde's Monkton Arts has announced a shake-up, with a short closure for refurbishment and expansion of facilities.

The popular community art location, based on East Street, is to expand operations across the street to the former Bert's Motorcycles unit.

It comes after the venue was hit hard by severe flooding at the tail-end of last year.

Monkton Arts co-owner, Dawn Fidler, explained:

"Survival has been a struggle for Monkton Arts, with the challenges of lockdown, followed by the serious flooding of 2023.

"But with determination, hard work, and continued support from our wonderful customers, local musicians, members of the local community and of course our Friends of Monkton Arts family, we have prevailed. 

"We now have exciting new plans for the future and expansion of Monkton Arts."

The new look Monkton Arts will include additional space for another gallery, new courses and areas to work in and sell artwork from.

Dawn continues:

"This doesn't mean the current venue will be shutting down.

"Far from it — in the existing building we'll be expanding the kitchen, giving us a chance to offer a bigger menu. 

"We will be working on both properties over Easter Week, when the cafe will be closed from Thursday 29 March until Wednesday 3 April."

A fundraising event is being held at Monkton Arts on Friday 22 March with all ticket proceeds going to help fund the refurbishment.

Local musicians and artists will be contributing, including Loren Thorn, Jim Thorn, Jon Thorne, Dave Packer, Nick Cane, Joe Thompson, Ben Sherwood and IW Radio's January Emerging Artist of the Month, Olivia Cure.

Emerging Artist of the Month: Olivia Cure

There will be an exhibition in the cafe area showing the history of Monkton Arts, with contributions welcomed until next Friday (March 15).

These can be in the form of short written, photographic or artistic contributions.

Tickets are on sale now at the Monkton Arts website, where donations can also be made.

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